A scaffold, also known as staging, provides temporary support to the original structure of a building during construction. The scaffolding also provides a platform for crew members to perform construction work at heights they would not otherwise be able to reach. Scaffolding is used in a variety of construction and repair projects, ranging from simple residential buildings to complex industrial projects.
Scaffolding is composed of three major components:
- Standards – The upright component with connector joins
- Ledgers – A horizontal brace
- Transoms – A horizontal cross-section load-bearing component that holds the working deck of a scaffold
The scaffold has always been used in construction due to its stability when working with heavy equipment and materials. Additionally, scaffolding allows multiple workers to work together on a single project, increasing productivity. As construction workers are able to work both inside and outside with the kind of stability normally only found in a built structure, seemingly impossible tasks can be accomplished.
Scaffolding can be used in different ways based on the construction project. Here are the most common scaffolding types used on construction sites.
- Single scaffolding – Single scaffolds, also known as bricklayers scaffolds, are one of the oldest types of scaffolding and are primarily used for brick masonry. A single scaffold consists of standards, ledgers, and putlogs that run parallel to the wall at a distance of approximately 1.2 meters. Standards are set at a distance of 2 to 2.5 meters. A vertical distance of 1.2 to 1.5 meters separates the standards from the ledgers. At the end of the ledger, putlogs are extracted from a gap in the wall at a fixed distance of 1.2 to 1.5 meters. In order for the scaffolding structure to be sturdy and robust, all technical requirements must be followed.
- Double scaffolding – Double scaffolding is often referred to as independent scaffolding and is mostly used in stone masonry construction. Since stone walls can’t support putlogs, double scaffolding provides the required sturdiness and robustness by combining two scaffoldings. When the frames are in place, the scaffold can be completed with the putlogs. Cross braces and rakers can also be added at a later stage to increase the structure’s strength.
- Cantilever scaffolding – Standard scaffolding in Cantilever scaffolding is supported on a series of needles inserted through holes in a wall. Cantilever scaffolding requires numerous precautions and safety checks due to its nature. Cantilever scaffolding is typically used when the ground is not able or suitable for supporting the standards, when the wall is under construction at the top, or when the ground is relatively flat and non-trafficked nearby.
- Suspended scaffolding – A suspended scaffolding system suspends the working platform from the roof using ropes or chains. Various types of construction projects use suspended scaffolding, including repair and painting. Platform height can be adjusted to the desired level.
- Trestle scaffolding – Trestle scaffolds have movable ladders or tripods supporting the working platform. Due to its maximum height of 5 meters, trestle scaffolding is used primarily for indoor construction projects, such as repairs and painting.
- Steel scaffolding – Structural steel scaffolding is made of tubes that are connected with steel couplings or fittings. Currently, steel scaffolding is extensively used in many types of construction projects due to its robustness, strength, and durability. It can also be disassembled and assembled very easily. Although it’s not the most economical scaffolding solution, it offers high safety standards for construction workers. As a result, it is one of the most popular scaffolding structures, and it is heavily used for outdoor construction projects and large commercial sites.
- Patented scaffolding – The patent scaffolding is also made up of steel, but it is fitted with special frames and couplings. Patented scaffolding is readymade – which means it can be bought in the store and is immediately ready for use after purchase. Platforms are mounted on brackets in a patented scaffolding, which are adjustable to the required level.
- Kwikstage scaffolding – The Kwikstage scaffolding system is another type of scaffolding. The Kwikstage scaffolding is manufactured from durable galvanized steel, making it an ideal choice for both major and minor projects. Using a safe and durable interlocking system, it provides a resilient working platform customized at any height according to the site’s needs.